Neko has recruited the dream team list of Calexico's Joey and John, Howe Gelb, The Sadies, Kelly Hogan and Garth Hudson (yes, from The Band). Thankfully, none of these contributions are superfluous, with the album a succinct 12 tracks clocking in at just more than 35 minutes. It doesn't hurt that the overall professionalism of the gang translates to the sound of a tight-knit, seasoned band throughout the album.
Whether it is a country-inflected, car-crash ballad ("Star Witness") or a murky, noir-country tune ("Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"), Case and her fellow musicians prove unflappable. Even better, the album was recorded in Tucson, at Wavelab Studios, which aids to its genuine, true-blue alt-country sound.
Each track is a possible favorite, and the biggest struggle is selecting one. With the hushed "Maybe Sparrow," the choral "A Widow's Toast," and the hazy "The Needle Has Landed," there is something for all tastes. Let's just hope Ms. Case doesn't make us wait another four years to make such difficult decisions.